Audiobooks are a wonderful way to expose all students to complicated storytelling, no matter their reading level. Listening to a story being read helps students engage in text, gain exposure to more words, and ultimately improve vocabulary, comprehension, and critical thinking skills. Not only that, they’re super fun! Here are ten of our favorite places to get free audiobooks for kids.
1. Harper Kids
HarperKids (from Harper Collins Publishing) is an awesome resource to discover great audiobooks for kids. Not only that, you can find age-specific & topical book lists, reading tips, and more.
Our favorites: Fancy Nancy, Pete the Cat, anything by Shel Silverstein
LibriVox has an extensive catalog of public domain audiobooks: 499 fiction and 47 nonfiction and counting. All for free for anyone to listen to on their computers, iPods, or other mobile device.
Our favorites: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, Aesop’s Fables, and Winnie the Pooh
Lit2Go offers a free online collection of stories and poems in audiobook format. And as a bonus, many of the stories can also be downloaded as a PDF and printed for use as a read-along.
Our favorites: Black Beauty, Gulliver’s Travels, The Emerald City of Oz
4. Loyal Books
Loyal Books, home to hundreds of free audiobooks for kids, is an easy-to-navigate online platform with books available in a variety of different formats and languages.
Our favorites: The Wind in the Willows, A Little Princess, The Wizard of Oz
Every week, celebrities and PBS Kids authors read aloud their favorite books on the PBS Kids’ Facebook page and YouTube channel.
Our favorites: Chris Kratt reading Wild Cats, Christian Robinson reading Last Stop on Market Street, and Marc Brown reading Arthur’s Pet Business
Sora offers the largest digital content catalog in the world to more than 53,000+ schools and districts. Sora includes digital books, spanning ebooks, audiobooks, comic books, and magazines, depending on what options the district signs up for. Free to use upon school sign up.
Our favorites: Ramona Quimby, Harry Potter, Wonder
Spotify, the streaming giant, is growing its audiobook category. The site is a little tricky to navigate—you have to enter the title or author to find what you’re looking for—but there are playlists available to make it easier. Check out this blog for shortcuts to specific titles. Also, the free version has occasional ads.
Our favorites: The Gruffalo, Little Women, Matilda
8. Story Seeds
StorySeeds podcast offers kids something a little different. Each episode pairs a kid and their imagination with their favorite author, who grows their ideas (story seeds) into an original, never before told story.
Storyline Online is an award-winning children’s literacy program that streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading beloved children’s books alongside colorful illustrations.
Our favorites: A Bad Case of the Stripes, read by Sean Astin, Brave Irene read by Al Gore, and The Elves and the Shoemaker read by Chrissy Metz
Storynory offers free downloadable and streaming stories for children, including classics, myths, fairy tales, poems, and original stories.
Our favorites: The Secret Garden, Pinocchio, The Princess and the Pea